Tyrell “Da Show Shocka” Samuel. (Courtesy Photo)

Tyrell Samuel received his boxing nickname after his first professional fight in 2005 against Tim Witherspoon, Jr., son of former world heavyweight champion Tim Witherspoon. Despite not knowing much about his opponent, Samuel shocked everyone, and came home with a victory and a new nickname: Da Show Shocka.

Eleven years later, the West Baltimore native will battle Joshua Davis for the vacant Maryland State lightweight title on May 14. The event will be held at the Maryland State Fairgrounds, located in Timonium, Md.

Boxing in front of his friends and family means added pressure for 34-year-old Samuel, but he thrives under pressure.

“Anytime you can fight at home is great. I love putting on for my city, putting on for my family. That’s just something I enjoy,” said Samuel (16-6-1, 7 KOs).

Samuel, who also works as an electrician, took a 15-month leave from boxing in 2014 to focus on family, including his wife and four kids. Samuel returned to the ring after the extended break in October with a knockout against Victor Vasquez in Philadelphia.

Samuel has trained with Coach Mack Allison III in the heart of Charm City for nearly eight years. He followed Alison from Upton Boxing Center to the new Time 2 Grind Boxing Gym, located in northeast Baltimore.

“I think he’s going to do great,” said Allison. “He’s representing Maryland, as well as the belt represents the state of Maryland. It’s just a blessing that we got the opportunity to play for the belt.”

“I’m just another boxer coming from Baltimore that’s trying to make it,” said Samuel, who also mentors young boxers. “I’m trying to be another example for the kids of Baltimore.”

Samuel’s opponent, Joshua “Dynamite” Davis (10-1, 4 KOs) hails from Washington, D.C. The 25-year-old won his last six fights, but Samuel isn’t focused on his competitor.

“I’m preparing like I always do. I just train hard, that’s all I know. I don’t know too much about him,” said Samuel. “Once I get in , I’ll make my adjustments then.”

The Baltimore Boxing Renaissance, Battle of the Fairgrounds, is scheduled for Saturday, May 14 at 5:30 p.m. General admission and reserved seating tickets are available at www.boxingrenaissance.com, or by phone at 443-377-2505.